Tailoring Social Features to Your Application

Determining what social and interactive features to build into your application can be tricky business. As an application designer, you might ask yourself questions like the following:

► What social features, if any, make sense in my application? Will the application use social features to encourage competition (high score comparisons, notifications when a friend surpasses the user's high score, and so on)? Will the application use social networking features to broadcast game activity (post game wins to Facebook or a Twitter feed) and thus enable free promotional opportunities for the application?

► How can my end user invite contacts to play my application? Will users enter their friends' email addresses, phone numbers, or user names to connect with them? Will invitations be delivered via email? SMS? Will player relationships, like friendships, need to be confirmed by both sides?

► What existing social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and so on) are my target users a part of, and does it make sense for my application to integrate any of these sites' features?

► How will my application protect its users' (and their friends') privacy? What guidelines will I use to determine what the application (and my company) can and cannot do with private user data?

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